Sunday, December 29, 2013

Loaded Potato Soup

My poor baby boy was sick so I wanted to make him a yummy dinner. I remember my mom making us soup and grilled cheese for my sister and I when we were sick. We would all pick our soup we wanted from the pantry cabinet and she would make it for us. I was a strange one and always wanted cream of mushroom soup. To this day I still sometimes get a craving for cream of mushroom... Odd I know.

This was actually the first time I had made potato soup but it came out AMAZING!!!!!


1 yellow onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 slices bacon

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup cream

2 tbsp flour

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s seasoning

1-2 tsp salt

pinch of black pepper

pinch of white pepper

shredded cheese for serving {we like habanero cheese!}

sliced green onions for serving


Fry the bacon until crisp in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Pour out the grease, reserving about 1 TBSP in the pot.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the hot bacon grease and saute for about 6 minutes until veggies are tender. Add the potatoes and Tony Chachere’s and toss well.

Add about 6 cups of the chicken broth, or enough to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.

Place the milk and flour in a jar and shake well until totally combined. Pour slowly into the simmering soup and stir. As the soup continues to simmer it will thicken slightly.

Either mash the potatoes well with a wooden spoon, transfer {carefully!} to a blender or use an immersion blender to process until smooth but still slightly chunky.  Add additional broth and cream. Season with salt, black pepper and white pepper to taste.

Serve bowls of soup with shredded cheese, bacon crumbles and sliced green onions.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Muffins Take 2

I wasn't 100% satisfied with my last batch so I tried these again....


1 cup oat, almond, or whole-wheat flour (I used 1 cup brown rice flour)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 egg whites

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I used Herbalife French Vanilla)

½ cup unsweetened applesauce or incorporate any combination of almond butter or coconut oil that will still add up to ½ cup total (I used 1/2 cup homemade sugar free applesauce)

½ cup organic canned pumpkin

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon and other pumpkin pie (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice)

2 Tbsp sweetener, such as Stevia, honey or agave nectar (I used agave)


Pre-heat the oven by setting it to 350 degrees F

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Spray cooking spray on the muffin pan – try using coconut oil cooking spray

Fill the each muffin space ¾ of the way full

Place the pan in the oven and wait 20 minutes, checking on them periodically

**Try topping off the muffins with the following coconut milk whipped cream**

Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

I know there are some of you who may get discouraged by "healthy eating," or some purchase items from the store because it says "only x amount of calories." You really need to look at those labels. How much sodium and sugar are in those items you are buying. Trust me, I use to just grab items off the shelf that claimed to be "healthy," and in actuality, they were really bad items to purchase. That's why we all live and learn. 

I've since then learned and been taught the "healthy" way to eat. Don't get me wrong, there are some days I have a cheat meal, but it's not an everyday thing. If you do a cheat meal all the time, you'll fall back into the same patterns and will continue to cheat yourself of eating healthy. Don't let cheat meals cheat you out of becoming healthy. 

Also, rule of thumb, never call it a diet, you're more likely to fail. You're changing your eating habits with making healthy eating choices and habits. 

The first step I made to becoming healthy for my kids and my family was trying Herbalife to see if I liked it. I was of course hooked after my first shake. I had my doubts at first about doing Herbalife, but I was willing to try anything. I have had digestion problems since I was pregnant with my daughter and I was still getting sick from certain foods and I never knew when I would have a flare up.  I was eating pretty healthy before trying Herbalife, but not until I started Herbalife that I saw a change in my body not only digestively, but physically too. 

After just 3 weeks, I started seeing results and I couldn't believe my eyes. It wasn't just the healthy eating though. It was 20% fitness (thank you my Sactown FitClub Family), 80% Nutrition (thank you Herbalife, my amazing health coach Amber) and 100% mindset. 

After my 4 week challenge with Sactown FitClub, I decided I wanted to be a health Coach as well because I wanted to give back to other what was given to me. I want others to have the energy and motivation I have. Here is my before and after picture of the 4 week challenge for those of you who want to see the results I showed in only 4 weeks.

Tonight after my amazing FitClub workout, I wanted to experiment with my protein shakes and make a little concoction. I'm a little OCD with calories, so I calculated the calories out for this recipe, it's 71 calories for a regular sized muffin and 24 calories for mini muffins. 


1 1/2 cups oat, almond, or whole-wheat flour (I used 1 cup oat & 1/2 cup brown rice flour)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 egg whites

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I used Herbalife French Vanilla)

½ cup unsweetened applesauce or incorporate any combination of almond butter or coconut oil that will still add up to ½ cup total (I used 1/2 cup homemade almond butter)

½ cup organic canned pumpkin

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and ginger would be delicious)

2 Tbsp sweetener, such as Stevia, honey or agave nectar (I used agave)


Pre-heat the oven by setting it to 350 degrees F

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl

Spray cooking spray on the muffin pan – try using coconut oil cooking spray

Fill the each muffin space ¾ of the way full

Place the pan in the oven and wait 20 minutes, checking on them periodically

**Try topping off the muffins with the following coconut milk whipped cream**

Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins

Monday, December 9, 2013

Turkey Chili

It's been so cold here in Sacramento lately, so I wanted to cook some cold weather food. 

Since were eating healthy, here's a healthier version of chili and it simmers all day in the crockpot to infuse all those yummy flavors together.

This chili recipe is a little spicy, but it's spicy in a good way. It's an amazing spice that kind of creeps up on you after you've had a couple bites.   Jack told me this was my best chili.

1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley minced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
2 chipotle peppers, minced
2 tbs. siracha
1 (12oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12oz) can chili beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin
Salt and pepper to taste (I omit salt cause I'm trying to stay away from sodium)

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté ground turkey, bell peppers, onions, garlic and jalapeño until turkey has cooked through. 

Drain and put meat mixture into crockpot. Addremaining ingredients to crockpot and stir to combine.  

Cook on HIGH 2-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours. 

Now how easy was that, simple and yet so delicious!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This was the first year I actually made this dish on my own. I remember my mom making this for our family growing up and it was actually one of my favorites.

For Thanksgiving this year, Jacks grandma had made a special request for this cake since it is her favorite, so I jumped to the opportunity to make this one. It came out just like my moms when I was growing up.

Not only was this cake delicious, it was one of the easiest cakes to make!
For the Topping:
5 tbs. butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
7-8 slices canned pineapple, syrup reserved
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
For the cake:
10 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup syrup from the pineapple can
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a 9x1/1/2 inch round cake pan. Stir in brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water.  Arrange pineapple and cherries in the pan. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, adding the sugar gradually, and then add the eggs and beat well. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Combine the buttermilk, syrup, and vanilla extract in a small measuring cup. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk-syrup mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread the batter evenly across the mixture in the pan.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place a large cake plate over the pan, and invert to remove.

Sunday Football Quinoa & Kale Patties

Sweet Kale how I love thee, let me count the ways....
Well once again it's Sunday in this household and since we've been eating healthier, I wanted to make some football food, but a healthier option. Jack of course wanted his buffalo wings, but I bake those, so they're not too bad. I have those perfected thanks to my dad. My dad is the Buffalo Wing master. They're perfectly crisp and the meat just falls off. He cooks them in the oven too!

For myself I wanted something a little different. Typically I would've used ground chicken for this recipe, however the store I went to was all out of their ground chicken, but they
had ground turkey so I decided to get turkey.
These little patties came out amazing. I made fairly good sized patties because it was just for Jack, the kids and me. I even calculated out the calories. I made 16 patties and each patty came out to 93 calories. Not too bad! Not to mention you're getting your protein, carbs and veggies in each patty. It is a Patty Success for this Sunday Funday!
1.25 lbs ground turkey
½ cup quinoa
1 cups water
2 eggs, whisked
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 scallions, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup steamed kale, chopped
1/4 cup panko
3 tbs. franks hot sauce
optional toppings: salsa, tzatziki, avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salsa verde, garlic oil
Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa and place the grains in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water.  Over medium high heat, bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the water is tender and the water has absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, ground turkey,  eggs, Parmesan, scallions, garlic, steamed kale, panko, and hot sauce. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny. Form 16 patties.
Heat large skillet over medium-low heat, lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cook up to 6 patties at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cover the pan and let the cuties cook for 3-4 minutes until the underbellies are a deep rich brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes until both sides are nice and brown.

Let patties rest on a cooling rack while you finish the next batch.
NOTE: We served these at room temp. So they could also be made ahead of time and brought up to temp in an oven on low heat. You could also freeze these bites for a quick appetizer on hand at any time!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Michelle's Turkey Dish with a Twist

With the holidays, I feel like I haven't had a free moment. Thanksgiving has just passed and we ate pretty good for the most part. Since Jack and I have been eating healthy and exercising, we don't give into those cravings nearly as often as we use to. 

The lovely Michelle from my SacTown FitClub Family was so nice for sharing this recipe. I put my own twist on the dish for my Meal Prep Monday. I now have lunch for the kids and I for the next week. 

This meal is so amazing! Just because you eat healthy, doesn't mean it has to taste healthy. If seasoned right, your healthy meal can taste just as good as those bad meals, but without all those bad fats, sodium and sugars.

Well, this healthy meal is amazing, and what can I say about kale.... Oh how I love thee. Kale is amazing because of these reasons:

Oh, it tastes great too!!! You can cook it, bake it to make chips, or use for salad. It's such a versatile veggie you can eat in so many different ways! I try and use kale as much as possible because of the great nutrition value it holds. 

Hope you all try this recipe, spice it up a bit and feel free to make it your own! Give it your own twist!

1 lb lean turkey sausage
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tbs cilantro, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs. siracha 
2 cups peas
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice


In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meat, garlic and pepper until cooked through. Drain.

Return meat mixture to pan and add ginger, red pepper flakes, siracha, kale and peas. Cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes over medium heat until kale has slightly softened. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Casserole

This morning I had the pleasure of having news reporter, Melissa Cabral with Good Day Sacramento come to my home and do a live news feed making Thanksgiving Casserole. I of course did a really bad version and a healthier version.

Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a meal you eat only once a year. You can have Thanksgiving year round, but without having to eat all the calories you intake on Thanksgiving. With a simple modification, you can eat a healthier thanksgiving meal year round and even on thanksgiving if you choose to do so.

For those of you who missed the show, here are the clips:

Thanksgiving casserole: healthier
1 cooked turkey breast, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 yellow onion, minced
5 celery stalks, minced
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs fresh thyme, minced
2 tbs fresh parsley, minced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cups cubed stale wheat or gluten free bread
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, thyme and parsley. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to large bowl.  Add the bread and toss to coat. Add enough broth to the stuffing mixture to moisten. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper. 
Place turkey slices evenly on bottom of  casserole dish. Top with zucchini and squash. 

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Bake until the stuffing is heated through and golden brown, about 35-45 minutes. 

Please note you can easily do this recipe with your thanksgiving leftovers as well and just add some fresh veggies.

Now, if you're still feeling a little bad after the holidays, here's an amazing casserole you can make with all your leftover thanksgiving fixings'

Thanksgiving Casserole: For those of you who want to be a little bad
2 cups cubed or shredded turkey
2 cups broccoli or leftover veggies from thanksgiving vegetables
4 cups prepared stuffing
2 cups sour cream
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12 oz can cream of chicken soup
4 cups mashed potatoes or hash brown potatoes
3 cups gravy
1 cup dried cranberries or cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish. 

In a large bowl, combine turkey, vegetables, sour cream, cheese, cream of chicken soup, and potatoes.  Place into casserole using a spoon to evenly spread and flatten into casserole. Place a thin layer of stuffing ontop of turkey mixture.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown.  Cut and serve warm. Top each portion with gravy and cranberries.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


When I was pregnant with Brooklyn, I craved Mexican food my entire pregnancy.  I experimented with a ton of recipes and if we'd go out to eat, I wanted Mexican food. Needless to say, Brooklyn loves Mexican food. 

I've done more carnitas recipe than I can even remember. The only thing I usually change is the spiciness depending on who is eating over for dinner. The kids surprisingly like a little spice in their food. 

For the rub:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

For the Crock Pot:

3lb pork shoulder

1 sweet onion sliced in thin strips

1 small can of mild green chiles

1 jalapeño diced (remove seeds if you don't want it spicy)

2 tomatoes diced

1 cup chicken stock

2 bay leaf

A few shakes of sea salt and ground pepper


Mix your rub together and rub onto all sides of the pork shoulder. If possible, refrigerate the roast with the rub overnight. If this is not possible , that’s ok, it’s not required it will just enhanced the flavor.

Place the sliced onion, and bay leaf on the bottom of your crock pot.  Place the spiced up pork shoulder on top. Add the green chiles and the chicken stock along the sides of the meat. Avoid rinsing the spice off the meat. Sprinkle a bit more sea salt and pepper on top. 

Cover and let cook on high for 4 hours, then turn down to low for another 4 hours. (Or you can cook on low for 10 hours. Or start on low and turn to high when you get home, whatever works for your schedule) 

The meat is done when it pulls apart easily with a fork. Check for seasoning! Does it need more salt? Pepper? Cumin? Maybe a little cayenne pepper for spiciness? I always end up adding a little more pepper for spice. Be careful with cumin. A little goes a long way.

Once the carnitas a tender, juicy, fork tender and seasoned to your liking it’s ready to serve.


Serve with: (these are all optional, but it is what I used)

Whole wheat tortillas

Chopped romaine lettuce

Chopped cilantro

diced tomatoes

Diced onions

If you are still eating dairy, like my kids and husband, you can add cheese or sour cream. USE FULL FAT!

Double pork stuffed chicken

I'm always trying to find new ways to eat chicken. Since we have been doing a lot of paleo dishes, I decided to try this one and it was amazing.
This recipe was very simple and easy to make, so it made preparing dinner very easy with my two little rugrats running around.
Nothing like an easy and quick meal to cook for the family. Jack and kids both loved it. My little garbage disposal, Brooklyn ate 1/4 chicken breast and picky Nicholas ate 1/4 chicken breast with ketchup of course. It's so hard for me to get him to eat meat. If he has ketchup though, he'll eat just about anything from chicken to fish. 

This dinner was amazing last night for dinner and taste just as good today when I ate it for lunch.
4 chicken breasts
3/4 pound ground pork
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 package of bacon

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    In a skillet over medium heat, sauté pork, garlic, parsley and half of spices for 6-8 minutes until pork is just cooked, but still slightly pink.
    Use a knife to butterfly the breasts (slice lengthwise through one side of the breast creating a pocket).
    Open up the breasts and pound briefly with a meat tenderizer to thin the meat out a bit.
    Sprinkle the remaining spices evenly over the inside of the breasts.
    Spoon equal amounts of ground pork on to one side of each breast, then fold the other side over the top.
    Wrap bacon slices snugly around each breast, covering entirely.
    Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, then put under the broiler for 3 minutes to crisp up bacon.
    Can be eaten warm or cold. I decided to serve this with mashed sweet potatoes and blanched broccoli.


Paleo Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is one of my favorites. Paleo chicken pot pie is definitely new to me. It was so fun making though.  

It came out great, however due to the almond flour added to chicken broth, I would definitely 1/2 the amount of almond flour so the broth doesn't thicken up so much. Luckily I had saved some of the broth cause it wouldn't fit in the ramekins, so I warmed it back up and poured into the pot pies after cracking open the crust. 

3 cups Almond flour 
1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ cup Coconut Oil (room temperature)
1 Tbs. Cool Water
2 Chicken Breast Halves Roasted and Cubed (about 1 lb raw)
2 cups Yellow Onions Chopped
2 cups Frozen Green Peas
2 cups Frozen Carrots
¼ cup Coconut Milk (full fat)
¾ cup Almond Flour
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Egg (for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Wash chicken breast and pat dry.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Drizzle and rub 1 Tbl EVOO on the chicken breast.
Sprinkle with generous amount of kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven when finished and let cool.
Cut into about ½” cubes when cool enough to handle.
In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients together (almond meal, salt, and baking powder).
Add the coconut oil and slowly pulse until it’s evenly mixed. It should have the consistence of peas.
Slowly add the water and pulse until it forms a dough-like texture.
Remove from food processor, roll into a ball and wrap in cling wrap.
Put the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
[Now is a good time to start on the pie fillings]
Dust a pastry board (or cutting board) with almond meal.
Place the ball of dough on the dry almond meal and cut into 8 even sections. (Roll into one large piece if you’re making one large pie.)
Using your hands first and then a rolling pen for even thickness, press and roll each of the 8 pieces into a circle.
Keep dusting the top and bottom of dough with dry almond meal so that it doesn’t stick.
Use the ramekin or dish you are baking in to cut the right-size circle in the dough.

Heat the EVOO in the bottom of a large pot.
Add the yellow onions and cook on medium/high until they’re brown.
Slowly add the almond meal and reduce the heat.
Slowly add the chicken stock and stir.
Add the coconut milk, 1 tsp salt, thyme, oregano, and black pepper.
Add the peas, carrots, and chicken.
Spoon an even amount into each of the 8 ramekins (or other oven-friendly bowls).
Place the crust on top of the filling.

Scramble one egg and paint the crust of each pie generously.
Sprinkle with kosher salt and cut 3-4 slits in the top.
Bake at 375 for one hour.